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Mon, 30 Mar 2020
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Cloud Lightning

Floods hit southern Norway

Heavy rains caused flooding in southern Norway Monday, forcing many residents to leave their homes.

Floods ripped through the northern tip of Randsfjord in southern Norway, Aftenposten reports.

Several homes were destroyed or severely damaged and cars were swept away after the heavy rains caused a dam to break, sending torrents of water rushing down the Nordraak River.

Bizarro Earth

Bad weather hampers search for Kenyan landslide victims

Torrential overnight rain hampered a search on Monday for at least 16 people buried alive in a weekend landslide in western Kenya, police said.

©Unknown

"We still believe there are more bodies buried in the rubble but rescuers have not been able to retrieve them due to bad weather. Overnight rains have hampered the exercise," said Peter Kavila, police chief of the Western Province.

Rescue teams from the national police force, the Kenya Red Cross Society, the ministry of works and the National Youth Service are sifting through rubble at Kuvasali village, 290 kilometres (180 miles) northwest of Nairobi, where a landslide that began on Friday buried scores of houses and livestock.

Cloud Lightning

Quake shakes Hawaii as preparations for hurricane continue

An earthquake on Monday jolted the Big Island of Hawaii, which is already under a hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning.

The magnitude 5.3 temblor struck at 7:38 p.m. local time, about 25 miles south of Hilo, according to a preliminary report from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Bizarro Earth

Global Warming Debate Reignited After NASA Quietly Corrects Temperature Data

A Toronto blogger discovered a problem with how NASA records U.S. temperatures, concluding that 1934 is actually the hottest year on record, not 1998. The climate change controversy is heating up once again.

Stop

Orang-utans home destroyed for bio-diesel

The Orang-utans of Borneo are facing an unprecedented threat as their habitat is destroyed to satisfy increasing global demands for bio-fuel.

Life Preserver

North Korea seeks help after floods ravage country

North Korea is seeking international help after it reported massive flooding had left hundreds of people dead or missing and washed away many buildings, a U.N. aid agency spokesman said on Tuesday.

North Korea, which has struggled with chronic food shortages for years, also said in a report early on Tuesday that floodwaters caused "tens of thousands of hectares of farmland (to be) inundated, buried under silt and washed away."

©AP
Pyongyang has been badly hit by flooding.

Paul Risley, Asia spokesman with the U.N. World Food Programme, said: "If the figures are borne out by our own assessment, then we are very concerned that this is a significant emergency crisis."

Cloud Lightning

Atlantic depression forms, another eyed in Gulf: NHC

Tropical Depression 4 formed in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean and another depression could form in the Gulf of Mexico over the next day or so, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Monday.

In an advisory issued at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT), the NHC said the center of Tropical Depression 4 was located about 620 miles west-southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands and about 1,900 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

Evil Rays

Quake, 7.2 magnitude, reported near Vanuatu - USGS

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake was recorded 46 km east of Santo in the South Pacific island archipelago of Vanuatu, the U.S. Geological Survey reported on Monday.

People

Thomas Gold: The science maverick who challenged establishment thinking - and quite often turned out to be right

Professor Thomas "Tommy" Gold, who has died aged 84, was the initiator, the pragmatist and the persuader among the trio of young Cambridge scientists who turned cosmology upside down in the 1950s by proposing their controversial and comforting "steady state" hypothesis of the universe. This held centre stage for several years, with Fred Hoyle as its underpinning cosmological philosopher, Hermann Bondi in mathematical support, and Tommy Gold as its extrovert propagandist.

Bizarro Earth

Heretical Thoughts about Science and Society

1. The Need for Heretics

In the modern world, science and society often interact in a perverse way. We live in a technological society, and technology causes political problems. The politicians and the public expect science to provide answers to the problems. Scientific experts are paid and encouraged to provide answers. The public does not have much use for a scientist who says, "Sorry, but we don't know". The public prefers to listen to scientists who give confident answers to questions and make confident predictions of what will happen as a result of human activities. So it happens that the experts who talk publicly about politically contentious questions tend to speak more clearly than they think. They make confident predictions about the future, and end up believing their own predictions. Their predictions become dogmas which they do not question. The public is led to believe that the fashionable scientific dogmas are true, and it may sometimes happen that they are wrong. That is why heretics who question the dogmas are needed.